Careers Advice by Sector

Researching career ideas is an important, ongoing activity throughout our working lives.

It helps you to reflect on what you would like to do in the future by letting you know more about what’s out there. However, with so much information available, it can be very difficult to know where to start and can often feel overwhelming.

This resource aims to give you a great starting point for your research, listing a range of key websites where you can find out about different industries, current affairs and developments. It will point you in the right direction to discover more about the sectors you're interested in. 

As many employers welcome applications from any degree subject, this information has been grouped by career sector (rather than by degree subject or job role). Each sector could be open to you regardless of the subject you study – so try not to let any preconceptions prevent you from exploring the different opportunities out there.

If you would like to talk more about researching your career ideas or don’t know where to start, please book in for a meeting with Careers and Placements using Aston Futures.

General resources

These resources aren't specific to any sector and are relevant for anyone who wants to explore their options.

Sector-specific resources

Business

With almost 6 million private sector businesses in the UK, this sector provides graduates of any subject with a wide number of opportunities to use their skills and knowledge. Key working areas might relate to Business Development, Consultancy, Administration, Management, Project Management, Analytics, Strategy or Statistics.

Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

Useful resources

Communication

Could you help shape the public voice of an organisation? Help create and implement strategies to engage with target audiences and help an organisation achieve its goals? You may use different media and technology in creative ways, analysing data to inform your planning and decisions, and then working closely with others to ensure things stay on track. Key areas might include Advertising or Public Relations, Marketing, Internet/Digital Media or Event Management.

Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

Useful resources

Construction and Property

Want to help shape the built environment? With roles associated with planning, design, surveying, construction, engineering, project management and the process of buying and managing land and buildings, this sector offers graduates of many different subject areas many ways to use their skills and knowledge. Whether you’re working on technical aspects of a large-scale development project or overseeing the administration of a small private residential sale, you will be working closely with others to ensure things go smoothly.

Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

Useful resources

Creative

The ‘Creative Industries’ describes a wide spectrum of jobs and career paths, and they are not just for those who are good at drawing! Jobs in this sector might be related to Design, Media, The Arts, Publishing or Journalism. Roles might focus on different skills and knowledge, whether that’s IT skills (Web Design or Marketing), organisation and people management skills (TV/Radio Production Assistant), or your ability to communicate effectively in writing (Copy/Content Writer) – there are so many opportunities out there! 

Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

Useful resources

Customer Service and Retail

Any organisation that produces a product, sells an item or provides a service to others are dependent on the satisfaction of their customers. Roles in Customer Service might range from Sales, Business Development or Complaint management through to Data Analysis and Management, improving the customer experience and helping the organisation achieve its goals. Communication and problem solving is key to this sector, where creativity, negotiation and relationship building skills are also put to good use. 

Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

Useful resources

Education and Training

Careers in Education and Training offer a challenging but rewarding option to the right graduate. Roles in this area include Primary, Secondary or Further Education teaching, as well as specialist options such as teaching those with special educational needs (SEND), adults or teaching English as a second/other language (TESOL). There are alternative opportunities out there too, including professional/corporate training, employee development, coaching and more. This sector is also supported by non-teaching support staff and business roles including outreach and engagement, vocational and student support staff.

Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

Useful resources

Energy and Utilities

Generating and distributing power and utilities is what this sector is all about, whether you’re working in roles relating to Water, Gas, Oil, Nuclear Power or Renewable energies, you are playing an important role in global infrastructure. Roles in this sector may include technical specialists with an awareness of environmental factors, engineers and scientists supporting new developments as well as the commercial and business roles that make this industry work. 

Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

Useful resources

Engineering and Manufacturing

From aerospace, automotive, electronics, biomedical and telecommunications, this sector offers technically skilled graduates a wide range of machine and process-oriented roles. Careers in this sector often require specialist knowledge and technical abilities, combining elements of design and management with precision practical skills and mathematics.

Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

Useful resources

    Environmental

    This diverse sector may include practical roles in sustainability, waste management, conservation, animal welfare and forestry management. It also includes scientific roles protecting ecosystems and the development of renewable energies. Roles in this area might see you working with legal and regulation specialists, and make use of your skills in planning, engineering and public engagement.

    Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

    Useful resources

    Financial

    Financial Services encompasses a broad range of organisations that manage money including accountancy, tax, banking, finance, insurance and investment banking. For driven graduates with strong analytical and mathematics skills and an eagerness to learn, there could be many fulfilling job opportunities to be found within this highly regulated sector.

    Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

    Useful resources

    Health and Wellbeing

    Health and Wellbeing is more than supporting people’s physical and mental health needs, it includes a huge range of specialist, technical and management levels roles - social work, public health and policy, NHS Management, cutting edge diagnostics, therapies, and many others! Whether you would like to be a Medical Doctor, a Pharmacist or a Clinical Psychologist, you will need to be a high performing graduate who puts the patient first, working with diverse teams of professionals to provide the quality of services that make a real difference to people’s lives.

    Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

    Useful resources

    Hospitality

    In 2019 the hospitality sector contributed £59.3 billion to the UK economy and is a fast-paced, customer focussed industry that offers graduates of all subjects rewarding and challenging opportunities. Jobs in this area often relate to the management and business of food, drink, catering, events, travel, tourism or even sports and recreation. If you can develop top-level organisational skills, a strong people focussed approach, working in adaptable teams, confidence and a dedication to ‘go the extra mile’ this could be the start of a long and meaningful career.

    Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

    Useful resources

    HR and Recruitment

    Finding the right people for a company, and then managing the talent you’ve recruited is the core of HR and Recruitment. This is a highly skilled area of work, where you may be advising managers about the legal aspects of people, helping redeployment of resources for new business, or helping to promote and hire new graduates to work in the organisation. If you are a confident and tenacious person, who works well under pressure you may find this an area worth considering.

    Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

    Useful resources

    Languages, Interpreting and Translation

    Fluency in languages can be applied to many rewarding job areas. Combining your language skills with relevant experiences could open a wide number of exciting opportunities, for example in the worlds of business and trade, the civil service, travel and tourism, international development, translation, research, tour management or even teaching.

    Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

    Useful resources

    Legal and Law

    With a wide range of challenging, demanding opportunities with well-paid salaries, the legal world offers graduates an interesting and demanding area of work. This sector is more than just being a criminal barrister or solicitor though, it’s also the commercial specialists, the Paralegals, Arbitrators and Legal Executives and others that support the legal system too. For the right graduate with the ability to research, evaluate and analyse, the ability to form arguments and communicate and persuade others, a career in this sector could be for them.

    Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

    Useful resources

    Logistics and Transport

    Getting things to the people who need them when they need them is a complicated process. Working in the global market, you may find yourself sourcing materials, forecasting demand, fulfilling orders, storing goods or designing and managing the strategies and processes that keep things moving.

    Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

    Useful resources

    Public Sector and Charity

    Sometimes known as the ‘third sector’ these are often not-for-profit organisations aiming to make real, positive differences to people’s lives by providing services for individuals or communities. Jobs in this sector include more than just raising money, they offer opportunities in management and business, finance, project management, HR, Marketing, IT, teaching, education and many others. With over 150,000 charitable organisations in the UK plus large public sector organisations such as the Civil Service and the NHS, graduates from many degree backgrounds could find suitable opportunities.

    Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

    Useful resources

      Sales, Buying and Merchandising

      This sector is all about generating new business, promoting and selling products or services, finding the next trend in new products, or securing the right resources or components to keep the business flowing. You will need good customer and market knowledge, exceptional communication and negotiation skills and be able to work confidently under pressure to achieve the demands of your role. 

      Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

      Useful resource

      Science and Research

      This sector is more than just knowing your Lipids from your Leukocytes, how chemicals interact or why lasers are awesome! It relates to all aspects of business and its operation, as well as the management and oversight of scientific policy and exploration. Roles might relate to the day-to-day operation and management of a laboratory, the technical application of testing and diagnostics, the coding of data analysis software, as well as the intricacies of the legal and administrative aspects of regulation, quality control, sales and marketing.

      Every job role and its responsibilities are as varied as the companies themselves and employers in this sector are always looking for the right graduates who have relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and a willingness to learn. Even if you aren’t studying for a degree directly associated with this sector, you may still find many interesting and rewarding opportunities for employment in this area.

      Useful resources